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from the fields

The Food Project's blog

Community Welcomes Return of Dudley Market

The following blog was written by Megan Gallagher, TFP's summer communications intern. A rising junior at Boston University, Megan has also been helping out at our Dudley Farmers' Market. The market is open every Tuesday and Thursday , 3 - 7 p.m., until October 27.

The scene is lively at the Dudley Farmers' Market!
The scene is lively at the Dudley Farmers' Market!
Our big blue van pulled up to Dudley Town Common and I didn’t see a farmers’ market. I had envisioned several venders, each selling a variety of products but upon our arrival I realized that we, exclusively, would be today’s farmers' market.

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Mayor, Big Baby Kick off Bounty Bucks

Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Boston Celtics star Glen “Big Baby” Davis helped get the 2011 Boston Bounty Bucks season underway at a noontime press conference held Monday, June 27, at the City Hall Plaza Farmers’ Market. Joining the mayor and Davis were Food Project Executive Director Margaret Williams, Youth Intern Phil Nguyen, Boston Public Market Association President Don Weist, and Scott Soares, Commissioner of Agriculture, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).

Intern Phil Nguyen addresses press conference kicking off the 2011 Boston Bounty Bucks season.
Intern Phil Nguyen addresses press conference kicking off the 2011 Boston Bounty Bucks season.

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A Week in My Garden: Guest Spotlight


ToRena checks on the bounty of her garden
ToRena checks on the bounty of her garden

Dorchester resident ToRena Webb invited me into her garden this past week. She has a number of projects going on in the backyard. From potatoes being grown in a trash can to the herb garden on the patio, ToRena is making the most of the space she has. She told me of how her father introduced her to gardening at a very young age. As an expecting mother, she plans to continue the tradition both with her children and her nephew. This week she will have her nephew help her harvest strawberries.



With such a busy schedule, how do you (plan to) incorporate gardening into you life?

I'm a Teaching and Performance Artist and am able to plan my schedule according to my own needs. I like to garden in the morning and early afternoon. This still gives me plenty of time to do many other things in my day.

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TFP Launches MA FoodCorps Initiative

 

The Food Project is excited to launch a major new effort to increase affordable, local food access for low-income children and their families in eastern Massachusetts. Beginning this fall, in partnership with CitySprouts and Boston Public Schools (BPS), TFP will be working on farm-to-school and school gardening projects in Boston, Lynn, and Gloucester. We are calling this partnership the Massachusetts FoodCorps Initiative.

This work is made possible by FoodCorps, a new AmeriCorps program that places service members for one year in high-need communities to improve children’s education about and access to healthy, locally grown food.

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TFP Seeks Community Greenhouse Proposals

The Food Project (TFP), with support from the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), is seeking partners to share community space in the recently opened Dudley Greenhouse.

The Dudley Greenhouse is a 10,000-square-foot facility in the Dudley Neighborhood of Roxbury. Owned by DSNI and leased by The Food Project, the greenhouse operates year-round as a food production and educational space. The Food Project operates enterprise projects that employ youth in half the space. In the remaining space, The Food Project has started running community educational programming, and is now seeking community partners to run their own programming in this space, with limited support from TFP.

Our hope is that by bringing in a few different organizations and/or individuals to use the space, the greenhouse will better serve a wide range of community interests and needs. Examples of projects include:

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Container Growing: See How It's Going!

For those of you following my container-gardening adventure, these past couple of weeks have been full of harvests, which is always exciting. Here are a few updates:

* After three cuttings of salad mix, I pulled it up and planted a pepper in its place.

Lettuce out, pepper in.
Lettuce out, pepper in.

* I also pulled up the salad greens around the collard plant because it was getting too big. If you recall, growing salad greens around and under the base of the collard plant was an experiment for me. Looking back, it's safe to say that I was able to grow "microgreens" and get two cuttings.

* At the end of May, I harvested seven of the outer (bottom) collard leaves and had plenty for a side at dinner!

* My rectangular planter has offered me much to eat too.

Harvested radishes.
Harvested radishes.

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Longtime Grower Enjoys Raised-bed Gardening

Kun, walking through his newly planted food forest. Some of his fruit trees include pears and nectarines.
Kun, walking through his newly planted food forest. Some of his fruit trees include pears and nectarines.
While Kun Xu is new to our Build-a-Garden program, he is not at all new to gardening. He changed his yard to provide food for himself and his family and to inspire the community.

As I walked along his property I was amazed by the changes he had made in just four months. His house is lined with fruit trees, herbs, and vegetables. Passersby stop to admire the beauty of his budding food forest. Here's a peek into Kun's garden.

With such a busy schedule, how do you (plan to) incorporate gardening into your life?

Since I like to do gardening very much, I am trying very hard to squeeze some time for myself. Usually, I get up at 6:00 a.m. and work for one hour before breakfast and work for one more hour after work.

How many years have you been gardening in Massachusetts (northeast U.S.)?

I did gardening for six years in Maine.

Top two reasons to have a garden?

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Join Us at Whole Foods’ 5% Day


This year, Whole Foods Markets’ three Boston stores will be holding their Five Percent Day on Tuesday, May 24 — and The Food Project’s Boston Bounty Bucks program will benefit!

Five percent of the day’s total net sales will be donated to support low-income people’s ability to buy fresh, locally grown produce at participating farmers’ markets throughout Boston.

The Whole Foods Markets locations are:

Symphony, 15 Westland Avenue

Charles River Plaza, 181 Cambridge Street

Brighton, 15 Washington Street

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Lynn Farm Fest - Sat. May 21

Join us this Saturday at 100 Munroe Street in Lynn

11am - 2pm

Workshop:
Planning & Planting your Raised Bed Garden
held twice, starting at 11 am & 1:30 pm

Build-a-Garden Plant Pick-up:
If you are a participant in the Build-a-Garden program and received your garden between July 2010 - present, you are eligible to pick up transplants at no additional cost (first come, first choice).

Plant & Garden Sale:
Come for plants, seeds and garden supplies! 

download a flyer to share

In addition to The Food Project's Plant Sale, we are expecting a second vendor who will have an assortment of flowers, herbs and more!

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Gardeners Plant Seeds of Community

Dudley greenhouse sits ready for City Farm Fest. Community beds can be seen in background.
Dudley greenhouse sits ready for City Farm Fest. Community beds can be seen in background.
“Now I know why vegetables are so expensive….oh, and I have NO idea what I’m doing!” So said one of the greenhouse gardeners as she passed by me on her way out, having just prepped her bed and planted it with broccoli, kale, and culantro (an herb closely related to cilantro).

In the past two weeks the greenhouse has welcomed 27 new gardeners and their families into the space. Most are from the Dudley neighborhood, and many have children they bring to the greenhouse to help with their plots. Most are brand-new gardeners: eager to learn how to plant and care for vegetables and herbs.

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